ST.PETERSBURG, April 11. /TASS/. Russia will invest 735 bln rubles ($11.4 bln) in the Northern Sea Route until 2024, head of Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev said in an interview with TASS at the International Arctic Forum.
He added that budget funds will account for one third of this amount.
"To date, the federal project for the development of the Northern Sea Route has been approved in the amount of financing of 735 billion rubles until 2024. Only 274 billion rubles have been allocated from budget funds. Over 460 billion rubles should be invested by Rosatom and subsoil users - Novatek, Rosneft and others," he said.
According to Likhachev, companies implementing projects in the Arctic region will invest in the development of the port and the nearby infrastructure, without which the development of the Northern Sea Route is impossible.
"These are ports, access roads to the ports, creation of suitable sea channels, ice protection facilities. Of course, the state should become the leading investor in the sea channels, as the state is their owner," said Likhachev.
He noted that the balance in financing such a large project is very important and must be maintained.
"We should not shift much financial responsibility to companies, since they may become commercially uninterested to work in the Arctic. But, on the other hand, Rosatom cannot maximize its investments, because this will lead to an increase in the tariff for navigating ships along the Northern Sea Route "he explained.
The Northern Sea Route is the main sea communication in the Russian Arctic. Russia's Ministry of Transport has forecast the cargo turnover along it will grow by 2020 "tenfold" - to 65 million tonnes a year.
NSR crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas) and the Bering Sea of the Pacific Ocean. The Northern Sea Route is about 5,600km long. The distance from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok along NSR is about 14,000km (or about 23,000km along the Suez Canal).